The Securities and Exchange Commission has said that it is investigating the ongoing tussle at First Bank of Nigeria Holdings Plc.
Some minority investors had staged a protest at the headquarters of the bank on Monday, calling for regulatory intervention and demanded that the company’s 11th Annual General Meeting must be held.
In a text message to our correspondent, on Thursday, in response to enquiries on the matter, an insider in the commission stated that SEC was investigating the situation.
The source said, “Regarding your enquiry, please be informed that there is an ongoing investigation on the matter and the SEC does not want to jeopardize the process.”
The lender had said that it planned to seek shareholders’ approval to raise N150bn fresh capital via a Rights Issue and elect new directors including billionaire businessman, Femi Otedola, and Samson Ariyibi.
Speaking on behalf of the minority shareholders during their protest, the Chairman, Trusted Shareholders’ Association, Mukhtar Mukhtar, said the regulators could not afford to be quiet in the face of the ongoing drama in the bank.
Mukhtar said, “The regulators – Central Bank of Nigeria, Nigerian Stock Exchange and Securities and Exchange Commission, should wade into this problem. They know that AGMs are statutory.
“We know that the management of First Bank wants the AGM to hold and for all the resolutions to be considered, but they have been prevented from holding the AGM by some shareholders.
“First Bank of Nigeria has a systemic and important place in the economy of Nigeria. It is a bank that must be allowed to grow. It doesn’t make sense for the regulators to be silent in this case.”